One of the few bonuses of the weeds is that they have certainly shaded the soil well, and kept the rain that does fall from evaporating immediately. It has kept the soil surface cooler as well, which some of the plants have liked a lot (in particular the beans and carrots).
Because of the extent of my neglect, I may be able to collect more seed than I otherwise would have. Many of my radishes went to seed, and the flowers they put out were really quite lovely. And now there are a zillion seed pods ready for picking. My two varieties of bean plants produced much later than last year, so much so that I didn't think they were going to produce at all. But they did, seemingly all of a sudden, and now I have huge bean pods that are probably way past eating as green beans. Fortunately, one of the varieties I grew was dual purpose anyway (the Golden Rocky bean), and so I will just harvest them as dry beans for over the winter (and seed for next year). The other variety (Tanya's Pink Pod) was interesting to look at and very pretty, but I don't think I will grow many of them next year. I will still save some seed though.
I managed to thin the carrots out once in early Summer, but otherwise they are really growing way too close together. Despite this, they have grown quite big and fairly straight, and since I haven't been grazing on them all summer long, there are actually a lot of them left to harvest and store for the Winter.
My neglect also resulted in my harvesting very few new potatoes. The plants have all yellowed and wilted now, and have been that way for a couple weeks, which means the skins will have hardened and they will be better suited to long term storage. That works well for me, since we had new potatoes almost all summer from our CSA farm share (and probably will have many more weeks of these yet).
So, while I wish I was more on the ball this year with my garden, I have been pleasantly surprised at what will grow anyway, despite the weeds and the overall carelessness and inattention. I'm hoping next year will be a bit of a middle path between my gung-ho hypervigilance last year, and my distracted neglect this year.
Now, if the first frost will just hold off for a few more days, I will dig, pick, dry and otherwise harvest my little heart out this weekend!
Radish pod picture courtesy this foraging blog.